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Posted on 11-21-2016

What To Expect: Your Puppy’s First Year

Owning a puppy can be fun and exciting as well as aggravating and trying. Your puppy's first year will be filled with new experiences for both him and you. There will be times when he makes you laugh and others when your patience will be tested. Puppies come with a whole new set of responsibilities too; like making sure your pet has proper nutrition, is kept safe, and has appropriate medical care. Knowing what to expect from your new puppy and when to expect it can help you better prepare. Here's what to expect in your puppy's first year.

First Six Weeks

Puppies are born without the ability to see, hear, walk, or even regulate their own temperature properly. That's why these initial days and weeks are spent so closely with their mom. Within just a few weeks, however, a puppy's senses will improve and they will gain the ability to walk, albeit unsteadily at first. Young puppies will spend a great deal of their time sleeping. At about four weeks old the puppy is ready to experience puppy food. At about six weeks old, he will be old enough to be adopted.

7 - 9 Weeks 

This is the period of time when puppies should get their first vaccines. These initial vaccinations should be followed with booster shots every three to four weeks until the puppy reaches four months of age. Your veterinarian can help determine the appropriate vaccinations and schedule. One-on-one interactions are important in the development of your pet period during this time. It is also when you'll want to begin house training your pet, minimizing mistakes and rewarding good behavior.

9 - 12 Weeks

Your puppy is gaining full control of his senses and ability to walk. This is a very inquisitive period for puppies and you'll want to be cautious about leaving items on the floor. Keep in mind this is still a very young pet and is learning to explore.

4 - 6 Months

At this point, your puppy should be house trained for fewer visits outside. Many puppy owners are surprised to learn that during this period, puppies are developing sexually. You should discuss spaying or neutering your puppy at this stage unless of course, you plan on breeding him. There are many healthy benefits to spying and neutering and we will be glad to explain them to you at Como Park Animal Hospital.

7 Months - 1 Year

Your puppy now will have established his personality and hopefully has developed good behavior habits. Good nutrition continues to be critical and proper care of his teeth and gums becomes more important.

Make Us Your Veterinarian in St. Paul, MN

One of the important decisions you will make in your puppy's first year is who will be your veterinarian in St. Paul MN. We, of course, encourage you to learn more about Como Park Veterinary Hospital. We've been serving the Twin Cities area for 35 years assisting owners and their pets live happier, healthier lives. Call us for your initial appointment 651-487-3255. We are located at 1014 Dale Street N. in St. Paul, MN.

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